Do Residential Home Additions Increase Your Property Value?

21 December 2016

Home Additions:  To add or not to add, that is the question!

In the past year, our company has seen a 300% increase in calls regarding home addition projects in Richardson. We have found that Richardson residents are interested in adding on space, more than ever before.  A huge reason for that is the increase in property values.  As our property values go up, our ability to secure financing is simplified because we have increased equity.  With all of the new construction going on around us, it is a natural leap for people to be interested in improving their property as well.  The popularity of HGTV also has a persuasive impact on homeowners’ thought process.

Investing wisely in your home, dollar for dollar, can yield large dividends when selling.  For many of us who plan to stay in our homes more than 10 years, home additions have a huge impact on the quality of life and enjoying the extra space.  When contemplating  home additions projects, there are many components to consider.  First we start with the basics:  are we going up (2nd story) or are we going out?  City Code will have some specific parameters to follow when making this determination.  You can go to www.cor.net and in the search bar type : room additions.  The site will retrieve all PDF documents, zoning board minutes and city council minutes regarding room additions.  While it is not exciting reading material, you will find code and zoning information to help you determine if “up” or “out” is the best route for you to consider.

With the cost of labor and materials these days, new construction/ home addition projects are costing between $170- $200 per/sf.  This is a 20%-30% increase in construction cost in the last 5 years.  Often, to save cost, homeowners want to consider converting their garage to living space.  Years ago, the City of Richardson restricted garage conversions only to properties where the garage space being converted could be replaced.  For example, if you are converting a 2 car garage (approximately 20×20), you would have to be able to add on another 20×20 garage or build a detached 20×20 garage on your property, without encroaching on any building lines.

Now that you have determined that you want to build a room addition/home addition and you have a general budget for cost, what else do you need to consider?  Just a few items that can make/ break a project are:

  1. Access and egress to the space: Do you need a staircase?  How will the staircase impede on your current living space as well as the new living space?
  2. If it is a 2nd floor home addition, the current roof, ceiling joists/ rafters, etc. need to be removed, new floor trusses installed, and a new roof design/ build and install must be done. Existing roof lines are taken into consideration and sometimes have to be changed to accommodate an addition. 
  3. Mechanical: The new space needs a controlled air environment. You may be fortunate and have a current HVAC system that has the proper tonnage, duct work, supplies, returns & thermostat zones that work efficiently and well in your home as it currently exists.  If that is the case, then you just have to add a new unit, ducting, etc. for the new space.  For many of the older homes in Richardson, their HVAC is older, not working very efficiently and has 1 zone.  This often, with an addition, warrants an evaluation and re-work of the entire HVAC system.  It is costly up front, but when finished, transitions into an energy cost savings and much less wear on the mechanical equipment. 
  4. Electrical- many of our Richardson homes have 150 amp electrical panels. These supported our homes’ electrical needs when we were plugging in lamps and all of our kitchen appliances were manufactured circa 1970 & before.  Today, with general can lighting, gfi protected outlets, appliance requirements for independent circuits, etc. we do not have enough space in our panels to build an addition.  Some homes even have Federal Pacific electric panel boxes that electricians will often refuse to work with these days.  Other homes have their panel in a location that is against current code (master bathroom closet). Budgeting to replace and increase the amperage of the panel is a consideration.  If the panel location need to change, that budget is even more.  Remember, all of the electrical ‘home runs’ in your home go into the electrical panel box.  If the box has to be relocated, so do all of the ‘home runs’.  You also have to determine if the meter on the outside of the house needs to be moved.

There are other items to consider such as foundation, exterior façade, window (respectful redevelopment) style and location, plumbing and finish- out materials. Room Addition costs are so much more about what you need to do to connect that addition to the rest of the house, then they have to do with adding that one space.  Supply and demand have created an environment in Richardson, where many reputable contractors have large workloads and could be months out before they can get to the work.  This is the time when less than reputable contractors slide in.  They prey on the impatient and uncertain.  If you are considering a large remodel project or room addition for your home, and you are meeting with someone who says they can get to it right away- consumer beware!  Check references, check their similar work.  Take a look at our home additions gallery on our website.  The volume of work happening in our industry in the Dallas Metroplex is UNPRECENDENTED.  Those of us that have been in this industry a long time have seen ebbs and flows in work but nothing like what is happening now.  If you are considering home improvements, including home additions, be patient and wait for a reputable contractor to partner with, you will not regret it.

BRY-JO is full-service roofing and home remodeling company with design/build capability. By providing quality craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service, BRY-JO enhances both the beauty and livability of a space for years to come. Our clients always “love where they live.” Visit our website at bryjo.com or our profile on Houzz.com